Employee Life Story: Kurtis
One of our greatest gifts from raising a special needs child is without a doubt the people we meet and become friends with. This definitely applies to Kurtis and his family. We met Kurtis and his family years ago at the Pingree School for Children with Autism. We loved our years there but eventually transitioned into public school and lost track of many of our friends. Now years later our paths have crossed again.
Kurtis started coming into Howdy with his mom every Monday and always ordered blue Cookie Monster ice cream. It only seemed fitting to name one of our most popular flavors after Kurtis since he was our biggest consumer. This led to a job offer and we are so happy he accepted!
Kurtis is an amazing employee—hard working and happy, friendly and kind. These words describe Kurtis to a tee. I am fortunate to work with him every Monday and as a result this is one of my favorite days of the week. He makes me smile and always has a fist bump ready to go.
Is it any wonder why we all love to work at Howdy?
Ready to get to know Kurtis better? Here’s his story…
Kurtis first crossed paths with Heidi, Chris and Jack 17 years ago when the new Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center was built. Kurtis attended this amazing school for several years and then went on to graduate from Skyline High.
When Kurtis first found out about Howdy Homemade opening in Salt Lake City, he of course wanted to go back to see “old friends”, but imagine his surprise when he found that they served BLUE Cookie Monster ice cream! That was it. On that day, Howdy Homemade acquired a customer for life.
You see...to say Kurtis’ favorite color is blue, would be an understatement. From a young age, he would always pick out the Almond Joy candy bars as a treat (never eating them), just carrying it in his hand until it was a melting goopy mess, oozing out from the blue wrapper. Blue crayons were the only color he picked out of the box, blue shirts are his favorite, the walls in his bedroom are two different shades of blue, blankets are blue, shoes are blue...you get the idea. Finding blue ice cream, was better than icing on the cake!
When Heidi asked Kurtis if he wanted to work at Howdy, there was some hesitation. He had known Howdy Homemade as the place he frequented every Monday as a treat, and now he was going to have a job? His hesitation lasted only a second when Heidi told him that one of the perks of being an employee is getting a scoop of ice cream after every shift. He was sold! To prepare for his new job, his aunt bought him a cute apron and he practiced “serving” his family at home with a few pints of Howdy ice cream and a variety of toppings.
Aside from liking all things blue, Kurtis also loves cats, cheese pizza (no sauce) and zipping around on his scooter. He loves all Disney movies, watches anime and can be found listening to The Beatles or J-Pop through his earbuds, although he recently said his favorite country song is Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset (thanks to Courtney!). His most favorite place in the world is Disneyland, and he collects Legos, Transformers, Power Rangers and Nutcrackers. He loves spending time with his family and can be seen at Howdy with aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandparents. Kurtis has a caring heart and often times, would rather stay home with his Grandparents than venture out shopping or running errands.
Kurtis enjoys working at Howdy and has learned SO much in the short time he has been there. However, the most extraordinary thing is that he’s made great friendships! After work, he talks about playing imaginary baseball with Patrick and Zach and says he watched football “with the guys”. He enjoys filling the toppings, doing the “power washing” in the back, and can often be found carrying his spray bottle of Windex and wiping the windows and tables. Though he’s still hesitant to step outside his comfort zone, he knows that everyone at Howdy is caring, friendly and will help him “try new things”.